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    About Garuda

    Garuda – The King of Birds

    Garuda is a Hindu deity and is regarded as the vehicle of Vishnu. GarudaGaruda
    Garuda is a mythological bird-like creature who was large and considered the king of the birds. He was known for his speed...
    is considered to be among the three chief animal deities in Hinduism; the other two being HanumanHanuman
    SRI HANUMAN is worshipped everywhere in India, alone...
    and GaneshaGanesha
    The guardian deity of Hindus, also known as the Ganapati (The God of all groups) is the son of Lord Shiva ...
    . Garuda is one of the most important and iconic deities of not only India but many other Asian countries as well.

    Depiction

    Garuda is often depicted to have body and face of a man with a beak. He is depicted to have a white face, red wings and a golden body. He is believed to have a very strong body. Moreover, his body is considered to be so massive that he could block the sun with it. He is adorned with many ornaments, beautiful dress and a crown. In some of the depictions of the deity he is portrayed to hold a vessel which is believed to contain Amrit. Sometimes Garuda is shown to hold serpent or snake in its grasp and is decorated with earrings and necklace of snakes. Most of the times, VishnuVishnu
    Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,..
    is shown to be seated on Garuda.

    Legends

    According to the Hindu epic Mahabharata, there was a very prominent sage called Kashyapa. He had two wives Vinata and Kadru She is the wife of the sage Kashyap and a daughter of king Daksha. She was the mother of thousand serpents and was a rival of her sister, Vinitawho were daughter of Prajapati DakshaDaksha
    Brahma, the creator of the universe, created Daksha from his right thumb...
    . Both of them considered each other as rivals. After their marriage the women asked Kashyapa to grant both of them a wish each. Kashyapa agreed and Vinata asked to have two sons, while Kadru asked to have a thousand snakes as her children. Kashyapa granted them their respective boons and soon Vinata had two eggs and Kadru had a thousand. The thousand eggs of Kadru hatched quite soon and, thus, she was able to have a thousand snakes as her sons.  The two eggs of Vinata did not hatch for a very long time and because of this she became impatient. Out of impatience she broke one of the eggs. From the egg came a being that was half formed and had only the upper half of the body of human. The being from that egg was, therefore, deformed. The half formed son was Arunaand he cursed Vinata that she would become a slave of her sister Kadru for a very long time, until Vinata’s second son would be born and would rescue her from the curse. ArunaAruna
    In Hindu mythology and scriptures, Aruá or Aru? sometimes also called Anoora, is a personification of the reddish glow of the rising Sun, which is believed to have spiritual powers...
    then flew away and later became the charioteer of Surya. After a while, one day Vinata lost bet to her sister and had to become a slave of Kadru. After a long time the second egg of Vinata hatched and from it came a mighty, shining and a massive bird like creature Garuda. Legends state that at the time of his coming out of the egg, Garuda had so much of effulgence and energy that it would have almost ended an age of the whole world. The gods then pleaded to Garuda to reduce his size and energy, and he agreed to it.

    Realizing that his mother was a slave to Kadru, Garuda asked the thousand sons of Kadru as to how his mother could be freed from the slavery. To this the thousand snakes replied that they would return the freedom of Garuda’s mother if he would bring them Amrit, the nectar of immortality and immense power. At that time Amrit The term ‘Amrit’ is used for the water or nectar of immortality. The word was used in Rigveda for the nectar which is drunk by Gods to gain immortality. It was one of the outcomes of samudra manthan. There was a curse on gods by Durvasa because of which they started becoming mortal and then they needed this drink for immortality. Later on the water which is given as prasadam to devotees in the temples is also called Amrit as it is believed to be blessed by Gods. It is the holy water which is sweet-tasting. It is consumed in the name of the God. was in the possession of the gods. They kept it in a fortified structure and had it guarded by two vicious and poisonous snakes. Garuda soon took off and went to the place. On his way he encountered a few gods who started fighting with him. He soon defeated them and proceeded towards the Amrit. After he gained possession of the Amrit and held the vessel in his mouth. He began to take off to return to the serpents. However, on his way, he met Vishnu.  Rather than fighting, the two deities exchanged a few words and made promises to each other. Vishnu promised Garuda immortality without even the need of drinking Amrit. Garuda promised Vishnu that he would become Vishnu’s vehicle. He then took off and on his way he met Indra. The two deities made promises to each other as well. Garuda said that once he had delivered the Amrit to the serpents he would make it possible for Indra to regain it in the future. Indra promised Garuda the serpents as his food. Finally, Garuda reached the serpents and placed the vessel contacting Amrit on the ground. The serpents then released Vinata from slavery and went forward to consume Amrit. Before that Garuda told them to perform some rituals before consuming the precious nectar. The serpents agreed and went to perform the rituals. At the same time Indra came there and took away the vessel with him. The serpents returned to the ground and realized that there was no vessel of Amrit there. However, they saw a few drops of Amrit spilled on the ground. Soon they started licking the ground in order to have even the smallest quantity f the nectar. This led to the splitting of their tongues into two. It is believed that from that day onwards, the serpents began to have a split tongue and Garuda became their eternal enemy and predator.

    Beliefs and Significance

    Garuda is one of the most iconic figures of Hindu mythology. However, there are very few temples of him. The most prominent temple of Garuda is the SoumyaKeshava temple in Bindiganavile, Karnataka. There are various religious texts and scriptures which state that Garuda symbolizes brute force, speed and immense martial expertise.




     
     
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